Greens Spokesperson for Water and the Environment Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said today’s evaluation report by the Murray-Daring Basin Authority shows climate change and corporate greed are the biggest threats to Australia’s biggest river system.
“Today’s report highlights what the Greens have been saying all along, the climate crisis is plunging the Basin into hotter and drier conditions year after year, meaning water for the environment is crucial to survival of the Murray-Darling,” Senator Hanson-Young said.
“The MDBA is very clear that without environmental flows the health of the River would’ve suffered even more and the fish kills and algae would have been much worse.
“The MDBA is also clear that climate change will significantly impact water availability, use and management resulting in flow-on impacts to communities, industries and the environment.
“This report shows once again why the 450GL promised under the Basin Plan must be delivered in full and on time.
“Yet if the climate-denying National Party had its way, the Plan would be torn up and upstream corporate irrigators would have taken even more water leaving the rest of the River high and dry.
“The stubbornness of upstream states when it comes to delivering the MDBP will kill the River.
“Sustainable Diversion Limit projects are running well behind schedule jeopardising delivery of the Plan and floodplain harvesting continues unchecked.
“It’s clear water buybacks are needed. Costly and inefficient SDL projects will not return enough water to the system, especially if they are never even delivered.
“Rivers must run to stay alive but if upstream corporate irrigators keep stealing floodplain water downstream users like small family farms, river communities and South Australia will all continue to suffer.
“Corporate greed must be reined in and action on the climate crisis is desperately needed if we are to save the Murray-Darling, the lifeblood of South Australia and one of the nation’s food bowls.”